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A monthly focus on the profound impact of film.
Photographer Alec Soth selects his three titles

Alec Soth is a photographer born and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has published over twenty-five books including Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), NIAGARA (2006), Broken Manual (2010), Songbook (2015) and I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating (2019). Soth has had over fifty solo exhibitions including survey shows organized by Jeu de Paume in Paris (2008), the Walker Art Center in Minnesota (2010) and Media Space in London (2015). He has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2013). In 2008, Soth created Little Brown Mushroom, a multi-media enterprise focused on visual storytelling. Soth is a member of Magnum Photos.



D'Est / From the East (1993) Chantal Akerman

“Chantal Akerman said she wanted to travel around Eastern Europe and shoot everything that moved her, so she did. The result, D'Est is part ethnographic documentary and part neo-realism, a travelogue from East Germany to Moscow in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin wall. People watching is one of Akerman's many talents. In some scenes she is a flaneuse a woman, hidden from view, who follows the paths of unknowing subjects through city streets; in others she is seen, and acknowledged by her subjects, although often its more of an unsurprised glance than an acting out for the camera. Despite all this watching, Akerman's eye is not oppressive; her gaze comes from below, elevating and empathising with the people she shoots. D'Est is in many ways much like an exhibition of stunning photographs or perhaps a meditative and somber Jacques Tati film; the scenes Akerman captures are at times so perfectly choreographed that its hard to believe they are not planned and orchestrated. Maybe this is just another of Akerman's talents, the ability to compartmentalise the world into images both haunting and touching in equal measure. Unlike Jeanne Dielman, Akerman's three-hour masterpiece where audiences are forced to inhabit the oppressive tedium of one woman's daily routines, the everyday is anything but mundane in D'Est. Every image is more compelling than the previous one, proving that the more we look at one another, the more we want to look. Akerman's hope is that perhaps in looking we'll reach an understanding.” (Cine-File)

Kings of the Road / Im Lauf der Zeit (1976) Wim Wenders

“In 1975, in West Germany’s Wild East, along the border of the Iron Curtain, Wim Wenders filmed this American-style road movie about Bruno (Rüdiger Vogler), a shaggy film-projector repairman who lives in his truck, and Robert (Hanns Zischler), a despairing intellectual whom he picks up along his route. The desolate region is haunted by the past and bears the scars of war, yet Wenders coolly captures the American invasion of Bruno’s life off the grid. Rock music and Hollywood movies haunt his days and nights, and Wenders fills the film with cinephilic quotations and references. Robert, a literary man, arrives like a character from “Pierrot le Fou” and acts like a character from “L’Avventura,” but he forms a duo with the easy-riding Bruno which seems closer to Laurel and Hardy. Wenders films their bewilderment in a wasteland with tender irony and sentimental optimism.” (Richard Brody)


Mystery Train (1989) Jim Jarmusch

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